room with the desperate concession: “You may tell him any horror you



A couple of days after this, during which he had failed to profit by so

free a permission, he had been for a quarter of an hour walking with his

charge in silence when the boy became sociable again with the remark:

“I’ll tell you how I know it; I know it through Zénobie.”

“Zénobie? Who in the world is _she_?”

“A nurse I used to have—ever so many years ago. A charming woman. I

liked her awfully, and she liked me.”

“There’s no accounting for tastes. What is it you know through her?”

“Why what their idea is. She went away because they didn’t fork out.

She did like me awfully, and she stayed two years. She told me all about

it—that at last she could never get her wages. As soon as they saw how

much she liked me they stopped giving her anything. They thought she’d

stay for nothing—just _because_, don’t you know?” And Morgan had a queer

little conscious lucid look. “She did stay ever so long—as long an she

could. She was only a poor girl. She used to send money to her mother.

At last she couldn’t afford it any longer, and went away in a fearful

rage one night—I mean of course in a rage against _them_. She cried over

me tremendously, she hugged me nearly to death. She told me all about

it,” the boy repeated. “She told me it was their idea. So I guessed,

ever so long ago, that they have had the same idea with you.”

“Zénobie was very sharp,” said Pemberton. “And she made you so.”

“Oh that wasn’t Zénobie; that was nature. And experience!” Morgan


“Well, Zénobie was a part of your experience.”

“Certainly I was a part of hers, poor dear!” the boy wisely sighed. “And

I’m part of yours.”

“A very important part. But I don’t see how you know that I’ve been

treated like Zénobie.”

“Do you take me for the biggest dunce you’ve known?” Morgan asked.

“Haven’t I been conscious of what we’ve been through together?”

“What we’ve been through?”

“Our privations—our dark days.”

“Oh our days have been bright enough.”

Morgan went on in silence for a moment. Then he said: “My dear chap,

you’re a hero!”

“Well, you’re another!” Pemberton retorted.

“No I’m not, but I ain’t a baby. I won’t stand it any longer. You must

get some occupation that pays. I’m ashamed, I’m ashamed!” quavered the

boy with a ring of passion, like some high silver note from a small

cathedral cloister, that deeply touched his friend.

“We ought to go off and live somewhere together,” the young man said.

“I’ll go like a shot if you’ll take me.”

“I’d get some work that would keep us both afloat,” Pemberton continued.

“So would I. Why shouldn’t I work? I ain’t such a beastly little muff

(C) 2013